Skip to Main Content

Experiment 2: Is the press release dead?

Posted by Ben Smith on 24th April 2017

Have press releases gone to meet their maker, or are they alive and kicking? Or is it both – Schrödinger’s press release, if you will?

Whichever side of the debate you are on (or even if you are on both sides at the same time), it is perhaps one of the hoariest old questions in PR. Despite this, few PRs have ever bothered to put the value of the press release under the microscope.

So, undeterred, Wildfire labs’ crack PR “scientists” have once again put on their safety goggles, fired up the Bunsen burners, and put the question to the test in our latest experiment.

The Wildfire labs team reviewed coverage from over 100 press releases across five key technology sectors to find out how effective the releases were in getting a business’ message across. Coverage was scrutinised for whether it included some of the most important elements from the original press release:

  • The company’s key message
  • A direct quote from a company spokesperson
  • A link back to the organisation’s website or landing page – crucial for SEO purposes

And, despite reports of the press release’s untimely demise, the results of our sample were overwhelming. 98% of the coverage resulting from press releases included a company’s key messaging, 82% featured a direct quote from a company spokesperson, and 46% provided a link back to the business’ website.

Of course, that’s not to say that this means press releases are all you need for a successful PR campaign – far from it. However, it does seem that the humble press release may have some legs yet.

You can watch our full experiment video here.

Ben Smith

Ben’s deep knowledge of sectors as diverse as electronics and IT, cleantech and medtech means he has a wide range of experience to draw on for his clients – ensuring that no two campaigns are the same. Ben’s expertise lies in helping his clients to raise their profiles beyond trade media and he has a proven track record in running campaigns that deliver coverage in national, business and consumer publications.